Paper Giant Boosts Fiber Cement-Grade Pulp Capacity

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario Greg Rickford announced a $2 million commitment supporting Domtar Inc. in developing and commercializing new premium grades of pulp at its Dryden, Ont., operation.

A major paper producer, Domtar will launch a first-of-its-kind, commercial-scale facility for the new grades of northern, bleached softwood Kraft pulp, which suits building products like fiber cement siding, along with conventional and specialty papers. The use of modified fibers will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by lowering the amount of raw feed required to manufacture the products utilizing the new grades.

Support for the Domtar project comes from Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program. It encourages broader adoption of new technologies across the industry and supports forest industry innovation by opening the door to a more diversified portfolio of products and markets. In 2013, the forest industry contributed $19.8 billion to Canada’s GDP and, owing to its support of 200,000-plus direct jobs, is one of country’s largest employers. With 43 percent of the world’s certified forests, encompassing 161 million hectares, Canada leads the world in forestland independently certified as sustainably managed.

Since 2007, the Canadian government has invested $1.8 billion in forest industry transformation. Economic Action Plan 2015 announced $86 million to continue sector support by extending the a) Forest Innovation Program, which helps develop and advance new technologies; and, b) Expanding Market Opportunities Program, which helps develop new markets for Canadian wood products.

“[The Domtar] announcement continues our government’s effort to boost the economic competiveness of Canada’s forest sector while helping to create jobs and prosperity for northern Ontarians and all Canadians,” says Rickford. “This investment will help ensure the competitiveness of the mill into the future, supporting high-quality jobs and growth in Dryden. Our government is proud to support projects that contribute to Canada’s leadership in forest innovation and environmental responsibility.”